Thursday, February 4, 2010

Foodie Friday - Japanese Steak House Sauces and Restaurant Week in NYC

If I ask my husband what he'd like me to make for dinner, 9 out of 10 times it will be some type of Asian food. Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, or Thai food will put a smile on his face any night of the week.

One of our favorite dinners is a Japanese steak house style plate. Mushrooms, zucchini, and rice are the mainstays. We use beansprouts if we have them, and then we complete the meal with chicken, shrimp, scallops, beef or lobster. This past week we chose chicken, because I had some in the freezer.
While the meat or fish and vegetables are certainly delicious served as prepared, they are tremendously enhanced by the addition of ginger or mustard sauce. Years ago I stumbled upon the recipes for both. I make them well in advance of preparing the rest of the meal, so the flavors mellow a bit.

Japanese Ginger Sauce

1 small onion , sliced 1 small piece of ginger cut into small dice

1/2 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

Place all ingredients in a blender and mix at high speed for 2 minutes, until ginger and onion are finely chopped. Just before serving, strain if desired.

Japanese Mustard Sauce

1 Tablespoon dry mustard 2 Tablespoons hot water 1/4 clove garlic, crushed

1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted 3/4 cup soy sauce 3 T. whipping cream, whipped

In small bowl, combine mustard and water until smooth. Place in blender and add remaining ingredients except whipped cream and blend on high until smooth. Remove to bowl and stir in whipped cream.

BTW: You don't need a hibachi table to prepare this meal. Any griddle or large flat fry pan works just as well.

Please go visit our hostess, Michael Lee, at Designs by Gollum for more Foodie Friday surprises. She'll have Mr. Linky up and ready to take you on this weeks culinary tour.

Foodie Friday Extra!!!

Restaurant Week is drawing to a close in NYC. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, participating restaurants charge a reduced price for full course lunches or dinners. This year the lunch price was set at $24.07. Reservations are snapped up quickly, but this year my son was able to get one for lunch at Nobu, chef Nobu Matsuhisa's trendy restaurant in Tribeca. He's wanted to go there forever, but the budget of a family of four didn't really permit the luxury. To say he was excited would be a total understatement. He kept sneaking pictures of the food with his phone and sent them along after each course! Here's the email he sent when he returned home...further proof that some Foodies are born into the fold. (BTW: He's a really good cook, too.)

The food was simply outrageous. It WAS the best meal I've ever (and probably will ever have) eaten. The portions were proper, too. We left satisfied, and didn't have to make an emergency stop at Grimaldi's on the way home (that was our contingency plan should they give us teeny-tiny bites of really nice food). If they do it next year, I want you and Dad to come - he would've been in heaven between the Rock Shrimp Tempura w. Creamy/Spicy sauce and the Beef Anticucho. The sauce on the Anticucho was brilliantly spicy with Peruvian peppers, and required the provided sticky rice to temper the heat - right up Dad's alley. You probably would've chosen entree #3 - almost every diner around us did - the broiled Black Cod with Miso. It smelled heavenly, and the fish was flaking off of everyone's chopsticks. It looked perfect.

The Sashimi Salad was pan-seared tuna with pepper crust, two large pieces, over mixed greens, with Chef Nobu's personal dressing, the best variation on a sesame-ginger I've ever tried. I tasted equal parts ginger/garlic/onion, and had a low acidity point, as to not further cook the fish. The sushi was fantastic - every piece melted in our mouths, not like what we get at places around here, which is tasty but requires some work. These were all "like butter!" M shared two pieces of her tuna roll with me, as well as the maguro (tuna) and cooked shrimp sushi. She polished off three different pieces of white fish (looked like sea bream, yellowtail, and smoked salmon), salmon, salmon roe (I identified it for her - she loved it), and 4 pieces of the tuna roll.

Dessert was Tofu Cheesecake! I was worried we'd get some variation on green tea ice cream, but they totally came through - light, fluffy, and absolutely delicious, it was served with a lemon-orange sauce, a spoonful of syrupy diced apple, and a crispy chip seasoned with cinnamon and cardamom. It made for a perfect finish to a perfect meal.


  1. Nancy Jane, this sounds divine! Thank you for sharing, and how great, too, that your son got to go to that super restaurant at a great price and have such a great meal. The pan seared tuna with that pepper crust and with sesame ginger dressing is making me starve to think about it. YUM! Enjoyed this...

    Happy Foodie Friday!


    Sheila :-)

  2. I have been looking for more Asian recipes--this looks absolutely mouthwatering. The photo is beautiful. Thank you so much for this wonderful contribution to FF.

  3. Hi Nancy!

    I never tried Asian mustard sauce ..sounds so good!

    Nobu is definitely a hard place to get reservations for! Your son was so lucky to be able to go during restaurant week! My husband and I only dined there once, and the sushi was sublime and spoiled us, as now no other sushi can measure up to it. Hopefully we can go again during the summer restaurant week! Your son's review was mouthwatering!

  4. Looks wonderful! The photo is gorgeous!

  5. Your sauce recipes sound delicious! I haven't cooked anything Asian-inspired for far too long! Thank you for the recipes :)

  6. Do you marinate the meat and vegetables before you put them to the griddle? It all sounds delicious.

  7. The Author's SonFebruary 5, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    once i was old enough to use the blender by myself, i was entrusted with the job of preparing these sauces for "hibachi night". i was always proud to do my part in preparing one of our family's favorite meals.

    bonus tip: if you have leftover ginger sauce, add one pressed garlic clove and one Tbsp of sesame oil to create a salad dressing comparable to the one described in my Nobu review. i did this last weekend, and enjoyed it thoroughly.

  8. Delicious and very beautifully presented. My son loves Asian food. He would love this!

  9. Sounds absolutely delish!


  10. I love the sauce recipes you posted to share with us today. Your chicken looks spectacular. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

  11. This is my favorite type of food! Whenever we visit Hawaii we always end up going to Benihana and I just love their dipping sauces so thank you SO much for sharing this recipe.

    Thanks also for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment-I truly appreciate it.

    Best wishes, Natasha.

  12. Yummy sauces and a colorful dish, too. Lucky son having gone to Nobu!

  13. AAAWWWW you have a lovely endearing and sweet son!! ur a lucky n good mom! so glad he enjoyed the meal ...and you dish looks lovely as well!

  14. I'm going to make that sauce for the next time I do steak! We also do a stir fry about once a week. Somehow, the veggies are just extra nice in an oriental style dish! Tofu cheesecake never sounds very good, but heck! It's light and creamy and takes on whatever you add to it! Glad you weren't disappointed.

  15. I'm so impressed with your Japanese style cooking and it looks beautiful -- and your son's meal sounds delightful too! Hope you and your husband get to go next year -- sounds like a great taste of fun.

  16. Sounds great, Nancy..I have never been there..
    We are very blizzardy closed again tomorrow...sick of this snow!

  17. Love japanese food and that recipe sounds really delicious; great menu!


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